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Star-Spangled Gaming

This is Star-Spangled Gaming

Inspired live action gaming is the theme at Landing Zone Lancaster.

landing zone P90Through the fog of war and the strobe of lasers gamers run tactical missions in a barrage of infrared battles.

Gamers can immerse themselves in simulated sounds of explosions and the whizzing of bullets in a 13,000 square foot arena complete with bombed out buildings, dis-used oil barrels, Lancaster, Pennsylvania is home to its very first tactical gaming combat facility.

This is real-time, real-life land of the free and the home of the brave.

Team Spirit   

In old-fashioned laser tag arenas gamers get a ranking from first down to last and get "deactivated" for few seconds if they are tagged.

At LZ Lancaster gamers need to work as a team to win their mission objective.

In these live action gaming scenarios the game-play is more authentic.

“We find the adrenaline in the game is the fact that you can die, that there are real consequences,” says Terry O’Conor, owner of Landing Zone.

Typically gamers get 5 hit points.

"The first two times you are hit you hear a bullet whizzing past. The third and fourth time you get hit you'll hear a grunt sound, like you've been punched in the stomach. And the fifth time you get hit you KNOW it. Your gaming gun goes AAAAAARRRRRRHHHH! And you are dead. But you are not out of the game. You just run back to your medic box to re-spawn. And you get back in the game for a bit of pay-back," said Terry O'Conor, Owner of LZ Lancaster.

This is not for the feint hearted.

Gamers are using a gaming gun that weighs anywhere between 5 and 12 pounds.

In one hour, O’Conor says, it’s possible to burn around 650-750 calories.

Popular missions include team death-match and the domination game.

Spirited Gaming

Jordan Yablonski, 15, of Lititz, says he plays the popular first-person video game “Call of Duty” at home. He says he enjoys the tactical aspect of play in the arena.

“It’s actually physically engaging,” says Yablonski. “You have to move around as opposed to just sitting with a controller.”

O'Conor says "There are consequences, the gaming guns are programed to have a limited amount of ammo, so even though it is an infrared, invisible beam you can run out of ammunition.

"So when you run out of ammo you need to reload. And you'll hear the magazine getting clipped back into the gaming gun. So you are vulnerable at that point. We find the adrenalin in the game is that there are real consequences for your game play and the computer in the gaming gun gives you real-time stats."

To visit LZ Lancaster, click here.

by Nicole Lander with additional reporting by RYAN MELLON | Staff Writer of Lancaster Online.